The Swiss watchmaking brand has presented its new Longines Expeditions Polaires Francaises watch replica— Missions Paul-Emile Victor (Ref. L2.732.4.76.X) vintage watch just for the fun of it. Unlike the aforementioned gargantuan Lindbergh’s Atlantic Voyage, the Longines Expeditions Polaires Francaises — Missions Paul-Emile Victor has been re-issued in a relatively small case, almost matching in size the original model. Measuring only 38.5 mm in diameter, it is also quite thin, especially by modern standards.
Although not particularly fond with Longine’s current model line-up, I find their “vintage” offerings a quite appealing. Like the Longines Lindbergh’s Atlantic Voyage automatic chronograph watch first unveiled in the beginning of the year, this new timepiece may become a great buy for just about any watch enthusiast obsessed with “classic” models.
The generous Longines replica watch owes its slimness to the Longines caliber L619, which is based on the time-proven ETA 2892-A2 automatic movement. Being only 3.6 mm thin, the base movement is also used in “slim” models from other major brands, such as the (*sigh*) IWC Portofino,Porsche Design Flat Six P’6310, and Sotirio Bvlgari Date Retrograde, just to name a few.
Of course, due to advances in technology, the blued steel hands look more refined and the thick layer of luminous substance (previously it was Radium, but this time they used SuperLuminova, which is a lot safer) seems to be more neatly applied to them. Also, equipped with the hand-wound Longines 12.68N caliber, the original watch lacked the small date window at 3 o’clock.
The ebauche is generally available to select buyers in three grades: Elaborated, Top and Chronometer and it is not quite clear, which one of the first two is used in this particular model. Anyway, all three grades are quite accurate and very reliable.
The rest of the dial remains true to the original with its classic convex shape, odd numerals substituted with arrow-shaped hour markers, and a high-contrast minute scale printed on the outer part of the dial. Just like one might expect both Arabic numerals and indices are covered with SuperLuminova providing for superb reading in night conditions.
I hadn’t the pleasure of seeing in real life any of the original watches issued for the Paul-Emile Victor missions and so I cannot tell you how “authentic” the new model actually is, but, judging by the pictures, the watch is very close to the “military” watches produced by distinctive replica longines expeditions polaires watch and other European watch makers during the 1940s.